INTERVIEW: Woland

Love, loss and absinthe, just three of the things that came up in our interview with Finnish black metal band Woland.

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(photo credit – The Damager)

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So, you’re all from Finland. How would you describe the music scene over there?

LXIV: Perhaps W (vocalist) would be more adequately equipped to answer this question, since he actually is somewhat active in the Finnish metal scene and I on the other hand live in the middle of a rural forest.

But from my point of view, as a very broad and general notion, I’d say it’s uninspiring, tired and extremely conventional.

Last year you performed with Scar Symmetry. How did that go? 

LXIV: I’d say it went extremely well even though us and Scar Symmetry are extremely strange bedfellows. Some people were banging the shit out of their heads and some people left the room waving their middle fingers.

We definitively made an impression.

Is there a specific show which you’ve played so far that stood out from the rest? And why?

LXIV: Our recent show at Blastfest comes to mind. We got to play in good company to a full house and were met with great enthusiasm. Of course it was also our first endeavour outside Finland which naturally was a hallmark for us.

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If you could choose any artist/band to perform with, who would it be?

LXIV: Queen, of course.

Either as a festival goer or a performer, what has been your best and worst festival experience?

LXIV: I myself don’t do festivals that much so unfortunately I don’t have any good was stories. But as a anecdote, and I think he would concur on this, W (vocalist) was the spokesman for Gorgoroth in the, now almost legendary, Frostbite Metal Festival, where in many ways, the shit hit the fan.

One can only imagine the feeling when you have a frenzied 5000 strong mob in front of ready to start putting shit to pieces and you have to say to the microphone: “Sorry, Gorgoroth’s been cancelled, you’ve been waiting here few hours for nothing”.

W was probably like a lightning conductor for all the hatred in the crowd.

Describe your music in 3 words.

LXIV: Take me now.

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You’ve just released your full length album ‘Hyperion’. How has the reception been so far?

LXIV: Mostly exceptional praise which naturally pleases us, accompanied with some “I don’t get it”‘s and a few “what a bunch of shit” reviews. Which naturally also please us.

If someone isn’t loosing their shit, you’re not trying hard enough.

You self-recorded the album in your own studio, why did you choose to do this?

LXIV: Well, anyone who doesn’t answer these types of questions ‘finances’, is either a liar or an idiot. I would have loved nothing more than to work this album in class-A facility with a talented crew.. But that rarely is a realistic option so we opted to go the DIY-road.

It wasn’t fun nor easy, but for us, it was the only way to make this album as diverse and strong as it ended up to be.

Where did you find inspiration from when writing and recording the album?

LXIV: Love, loss and life.. And some occasional absinthe.

Among the many talented and famous artists of the past and present, is there anyone specifically who you idolise or look up to?

LXIV: I find rising people to pedestals as extremely infantile. It’s easy to revere passion and talent in any given trade, whether be it artistic or something else by their nature, but to idolize? Never.

What makes music, or any art for the matter, remarkable, is the shear insignificance of it. We are all just people, some better equipped than others but still, just weak, meaningless people. Still I can make something that can change someone else’s world. As can you.. And as have many before us. Does that make me or you somehow more worthy of idolizing?

I find that idolizing makers and mystifying music and art ruins the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, we are dealing with magic here, but that doesn’t mean that it is somehow otherworldly difficult.

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Have you ever had an encounter with anyone famous? If so, who? and were you star struck at all?

LXIV: Referring to my previous answer, yes, I have encountered many.. Was I star struck? No.. To me it seems that the more I meet people who are considered to famous or idols, the more they radiate common regularity. We are all just men, no matter how talented someone might me in *insert random skill here*.

Looking to the future, what are your aspirations as a band?

LXIV: Promoting Hyperion is naturally our top agenda right now. Personally my heart is already set for the next album, but we are in no hurry.

But in the grand scheme, I don’t think our aspirations differ from the regular run-to-the-mill agendas. More bigger and better shows, better albums, rinse and repeat.

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In June you’re playing at Underwall in Croatia. What else do you have planned for the rest of 2014? Any other possible festivals/tour dates?

LXIV: We have some other festivals lined up, such as Inferno (Norway) in april, and Hard Rock Laager (Estonia) in june. Some shows here and there, with hopefully a longer tour somewhere on the later half of 2014.

Back when you were all kids, what did you aspire to be? (To be an astronaut? To be in a band? To be famous or rich?)

LXIV: This reminds me of an anecdote originating from John Lennon.. As a child, a teacher in school asked he what he would like to be when he grew up. Lennon answered “happy”. When the teacher said Lennon didn’t understand the question, Lennon countered that the didn’t understand life.

Lastly, if music didn’t exist, what sort of career do you think you would be pursuing instead?

LXIV: Not sure of my own mishaps, but it has been witnessed that W’s been admiring his naked (somewhat fine, may I add) form in the mirror, exclaiming, “I’m certain I’d make a damn fine messiah”.

Interview by Kaori Manz